In my opinion, these are the most mis-used words in fashion vocabulary. How many times do you hear that lament when discussing someone’s sloppy, careless appearance?
Last week’s Wall Street Journal featured a full-page article on “The Comfort Zone”. Of course, this raised all my hackles. The article did discuss home furnishings and auto comfort but what really offended my sensibilities was the array of “comfortable” clothing for humans. I’m sure most people would discount the long skirt for men as ridiculous and would hesitant to take a walk wearing velvet slippers but let’s examine some of the other suggestions.
Piamita (a designer unknown to me, perhaps because I have never focused on designer sleepwear) is suggesting pajamas for daytime. These are not just any pajama but satin ones with a price tag in the $500 range. There is no mention of the fact that satin pajamas would wrinkle immediately and need to be dry-cleaned. Can you imagine walking into a restaurant in this lovely green ensemble and expect to be seated?
Then one can add these track pants by Alexander Wang to their wardrobe for a mere $250. Why would one pay that kind of money to look like they forgot to get dressed that morning? One can buy a good pair of jeans for half that price and have something every bit as comfortable that looks good.
The ultimate insult to my sensibilities was the pair of high-topped tennis shoes with a built-in wedge. What? Why would anything this bulky and ugly, with a built-in wedge, be considered comfortable”? They can become a part of your shoe collection for a mere $250. That, of course, is less than a pair of Louboutins or Jimmy Choos.
Ultimately, I think the “But it’s comfortable” lament is that people don’t know what is going to look good and default to the lowest common denominator. I just worked with a business-woman who wore gym pants and t-shirts most of the time. Her work did not require that she dress up so she saved the step of having to change before going to her exercise classes. She did have some great dresses for going out with friends or to the opera, but for 90% of her life, there was no wardrobe.
I recommended dark-washed jeans and dressier casual slacks. Adding some blouses and shells, topped with a jacket or sweater and you have a stylish, casual look. Ralph Lauren’s line has many options that fit this category. Choose some great boots, pumps or stylish comfortable shoes, add a scaf or jewelry and you’ve got a total polished look. Does it take a little more effort? Absolutely! It might take 5 to 10 minutes more. Will it be comfortable? Definitely! The key is choosing a core wardrobe that will fit your daily needs, be easy and comfortable but will make you look and feel like a million dollars.